Sweet 16: No. 1 Duke downs Clemson to remain unbeaten
Clemson, SC (Sports Network) – J.J. Redick poured in a game-high 34 points to
lead No. 1 Duke past Clemson, 87-77, in ACC action at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Shelden Williams added a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds for the
Blue Devils (16-0, 4-0 ACC), who moved to 16-0 for just the third time in
Greg Paulus, Sean Dockery and Lee Melchionni all chipped in 10 points for
Vernon Hamilton led the Tigers (13-4, 2-2), who lost for the fourth time in
their past six games, with 31 points on a blistering 14-of-19 shooting. Shawan
Robinson added 17 points while Cliff Hammonds had 10 for Clemson.
The underrated Tigers hung tough into the second half but their woeful free-
throw shooting was too much to overcome. The Tigers were just 6-of-21 from the
stripe on the day while Duke was 29-of-36.
After Akin Akingbala used a beautiful drop step to deliver a thunderous slam,
the Tigers found themselves down by just four, 64-60, with slightly over nine
minutes left in the game.
Duke, though, showed its championship mettle with an 8-2 burst fueled by a
Williams dunk and a pair of Redick buckets to extend the lead to a more
manageable 10 with 5:36 left.
Clemson refused to go away, however. Akingbala nailed a jumper to cut the lead
to five, 76-71, with just two minutes left, but a Dockery layup followed by
four straight Melchionni free throws sealed things for the Blue Devils
Duke took a 44-38 advantage into intermission. Redick paced the Blue Devils
with 17 points while Robinson had 15 for Clemson.
Redick was 10-of-16 from the field…Duke holds a 97-27 advantage in the all-
time series with Clemson and has beaten the Tigers 19 straight times,
including eight straight at Littlejohn Coliseum…Clemson held a slight edge
on the boards, 33-26…Duke shot 57 percent from the field while Clemson made
54 percent of its tries.